Caddo Commission defends pace of Confederate Monument removal

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Shreveport Times

Caddo Parish Commissioners addressed comments during Thursday’s regular meeting that they’ve moved too slowly on removing the Confederate Monument from the entrance of the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson took exception to the negative comments, saying that with the large number of people who gathered at the courthouse they could have moved it themselves.

“The people in Mansfield are now upset and are trying to block the monument from being relocated there,” Jackson said. “We had to tread lightly because we had a private entity involved. I think we’ve done a good job.”

Following a long battle between the Caddo Parish Commission and the Shreveport Chapter #237 Daughters of the Confederacy, the monument will be moved to a site in DeSoto Parish.

Caddo Parish Commission Lyndon B. Johnson said this is something that has been going on for years and that the commission wanted to make sure everything was done right.

“I want the record to reflect that we’ve been pushing to get this done and had to go through an appeals process and wait for them to find a new location,” Johnson said.

Caddo Parish Commissioner Ken Epperson said they started dealing with trying to have the monument removed over 19 years ago and the vote was always split 6-6 along party lines.

Ken Epperson (Photo: Submitted photo)

“The actual catalyst to the situation was Mr. (former commissioner), Matthew Linn,” Epperson said. “He cast the seventh vote. Let’s make sure we give credit to where credit is due.”

Requests for proposals will go to contractors to submit bids to remove the monument.

In other business, the Caddo Parish Charter Study Review Committee submitted a report to the parish commission with recommendations for amendments.

Tom Arceneaux addressed the commission regarding the report and recommendations. The committee met July 7, July 23, Aug. 3, Aug. 11, and Aug. 25.

The first suggested amendment deals with virtual meeting authority. The committee suggested the commission amend Section 3-07 (A) of the charter by adding: “In the event of a national declaration of disaster or emergencies, a state declaration of disaster or emergency, or a local declaration or disaster or emergency that includes all or any part of Caddo Parish, the Caddo Commission shall meet via teleconference, video conference, or any technical digital means to the extent allowed by law to conduct all Caddo Parish Commission business until it is declared safe for all to return to in-person meetings by a majority of the commission.”

The second amendment deals with the authority of the Caddo Parish Commission president and suggests adding the president “for purposes of the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act.”

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